“We're looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation.”
—President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
A recent report released by the Small Business Administration indicates the annual cost of complying with federal regulation is a whopping $1.75 trillion. To put that number into perspective, it is roughly twice as much as all individual income taxes collected in 2010. Nevertheless, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to saddle America’s job-creators with excessive, inconsistent, and redundant regulations that destroy jobs and inhibit economic growth.
Making it Worse
Recently-promulgated EPA rules would create three new regulatory options for management of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) – the byproduct of coal combustion. If implemented, these burdensome rules would place an unwarranted stigma on CCRs and threaten their beneficial reuse.
CCRs are used to create roads, bridges, and buildings, and are commonly recycled into materials used in the construction industry, such as cement and roofing shingles. As the amount of CCRs used beneficially decreases, thousands of jobs could be lost. Because nearly 50 percent of the nation’s electricity is produced from coal, these stringent new regulations would also drive up the cost of power production. Consumers of electricity and goods manufactured with CCRs would be negatively impacted.
Making it Right
House Republicans believe that the government’s goal should be to produce the most effective and least burdensome regulations possible. The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, H.R. 2273, would facilitate the recovery and beneficial use of CCRs and ensure that unused portions are responsibly managed by creating a State-based permit program in accordance with existing federal standards. Most importantly, the bill would achieve environmental goals without harming consumers and destroying jobs.
This week the House is schedule to consider H.R. 2273, as introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), as part of the Fall agenda outlined by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) aimed at reducing the regulatory uncertainty and excessive compliance costs that are crippling the economy. The bill is part of the House GOP plan for job creation, which includes a focus on preventing or reversing the negative impacts of over-regulation.